Last year, we saw waves of people fleeing their homes all over California as the land burned, seeking shelter for themselves and their families. We opened our doors to many new guests: dogs whose parents had just lost their homes or whose parents were going to fight the flames. The recent earthquakes outside of Los Angeles have us thinking about what we can do to be ready for emergencies. And while we never want to think about preparing for natural disasters, what’s worse is ignoring the fact that they come every year.
In addition to preparing ourselves, we must consider our pets during these occurrences as well. Having a Pet Preparedness Kit means you can leave the disaster area more quickly and spare yourself the mental gymnastics of packing during an emergency.
Wherever you live, it is never simple thinking about the implications of a natural disaster. But putting together a Pet Preparedness Kit is one easy yet big stride you can take for you and your pet’s safety.
Items to include in your pet preparedness kit:
- Obtaining a waterproof vessel for your pet’s supplies is an excellent first step to ensure your materials remain intact.
- Pet carriers, containing:
- Photo ID of pet + your contact information
- 2 weeks worth of food in airtight containers
- 2 weeks worth of water in airtight containers
- Food and water bowls
- Plastic bags for dog poop and a litter box for cats
- Cleaning supplies: antibacterial soap, disinfectant, paper towels, and a scrub brush
- 2 weeks worth of medications
- Flea & tick medication
- A Folder of Documents, including:
- Photocopied veterinary records (rabies certificate, vaccinations, recent FeLV/FIV test results for cats, prescriptions, etc.)
- A list of dog-friendly facilities on or near your evacuation route, like hotels, shelters, vets, and boarding facilities.
- Registration information
- Recent photos of your pet
- Contact information for you and friends or relatives
- Boarding instructions, such as feeding schedule, medications, and any known allergies and behavior problems
- Microchip information
Things you can do to prepare in advance:
- Educate yourself on the type of disasters that can happen in your area. Survival experts agree that knowing what to expect is vital for surviving an emergency.
- Prepare your kit
- Make handouts with your pet’s photo and your contact information, in the event that you are separated.
- Make sure the dog’s ID, microchip, and registration info are up-to-date.
- Share this post with your friends to inform them on how to prepare pets for natural disasters!
What if I can’t take my animal with me?
Sometimes, people in disaster zones are forced to part with their pets either for a limited time or indefinitely. If you must evacuate, resources like Bring Fido can help you find pet-friendly hotels and facilities. But if you need to find other arrangements for your pets, keep a list of shelters, vets, and boarding facilities close to or along your evacuation route. Having up-to-date medical records and vaccines for your pet will help your chances of getting your pet a spot.
During the natural disaster, it is important not to tie up your dog inside or outside of your house. It might seem like the best way to keep pets from fleeing. However, dogs have an amazing propensity for survival and are better off being able to roam than being tethered to a house in a disaster zone. If you are unable to evacuate with your pets or take them to a shelter, the best thing you can do is to let them be free. Hopefully, it never has to come to that for anyone. But if it comes down to it, we have to trust our pet’s survival skills.
If you’re in Los Angeles and need to flee a natural disaster, please give us a call at Fitdog and we will see how we can assist you and your family.
While nobody hopes to endure a natural disaster, being prepared can be a life-saving choice. We hope you take the time to prepare yourself, your family, and pets in the event of an emergency.